When the Memphis Hustle NBA G League basketball team takes the Landers Center floor against the Iowa Wolves Wednesday night at 7 p.m., hopefully some more of what could be called “Hannahs’ Howitzers” are available if need be.
Memphis guard Dusty Hannahs, a first-year professional who played his past two seasons at the University of Arkansas after transferring from Texas Tech, almost single-handedly salvaged a Hustle victory from division rival Oklahoma City Sunday.
Hannahs, who entered Sunday’s 127-123 loss to the Blue at the Landers Center averaging six points a game and shooting 25.9 percent from three-point range, lit up the scoreboard for 23 points on 7-9 three-point shooting.
Most of Hannahs’ scoring came in a fourth quarter that had Memphis score 49 points for the quarter alone.
“I tried to do what I could do to help us get back in the game,” Hannahs said afterward. “Kobi (Simmons) hit some three-pointers, O (Omari Johnson) hit some three-pointers. I was just trying to help my team win. I come from Arkansas with a culture of winning and I’m trying to help bring that to Memphis.”
Unfortunately for the Hustle, Memphis had trailed by as much as 26 points against the Blue and simply ran out of time to complete the comeback.
The Hustle entered the final 12 minutes of the game trailing the Blue by a 94-74 margin when Hannahs was inserted and lit a fire on a Memphis offense that had struggled much of the contest.
“I’ve always been a shooter,” Hannahs said. “I’ve had some trouble adjusting the first few games with different playing time and coming off the bench. Hopefully I can use this as a platform to keep making shots and keep helping us win.”
All five of Memphis’ starters scored in double figures in Sunday’s contest. Johnson aided Hannahs in the final frame and ended with 20 points for the game.
Ivan Rabb brought home a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Six Oklahoma City players netted double figures for points with the top two Blue contributors being Bryce Alford with 35 points and Myke Henry with 27.
Oklahoma City led 61-50 at halftime against Memphis on Sunday.
“Defensively, I thought we were very bad, especially in the first half,” said Hustle coach Glynn Cyprien. “We tried to make some corrections. We picked it up a little in the second half, but what I was most proud of was that they showed character in coming back and giving us a chance, but we should have never been in that situation.”
Wednesday’s game against the Wolves, the former Iowa Energy which the Hustle’s parent NBA Memphis Grizzlies affiliated with last season, will be the second meeting between the teams this season.
Memphis defeated Iowa 88-80 the first time they met Nov. 17, as Deyonta Davis scored 17 points and brought down 10 rebounds to lead the Hustle in the victory.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.